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The 12,000-Acre Forest Preserve at Spring Island has Served as a Benchmark for Eco-Managed Communities in the Lowcountry for Nearly 25 Years

Managed by the Spring Island Trust, the exclusive Okatie resort was the first nature-based community in the United States. It has been used as a model locally by the developers of Palmetto Bluff and a growing number of other sustainable developments across the country.
The view of the island from horseback is simply stunning. Near the marsh, reed grass rustles gently in the breeze. Thousands of shore birds are gathered here to fish and forage at low tide. As we enter the forest the wind brings scents of jasmine and honeysuckle.

These three amazing locations are just a road trip away.

BOONE, N.C.
Join me as I travel from Hilton Head Island to the mountains of North Carolina for a weekend of single-track riding at Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park.
Rocky Knob is a 185-acre park in Boone, N.C. Last year Watauga County, in partnership with the Watauga County Tourism Development Authority, received a $500,000 grant from the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund to assist with the acquisition and development for Rocky Knob Park.

When most people think of rock climbing, they likely conjure up images of California’s Yosemite Valley, Wyoming’s Teton Range or even the European Alps. For the Southeast adventurer, however, there is no need to get on an airplane; world-class climbing can be but a short drive away. 
The southern Appalachian Mountains are composed of some the earth’s oldest rock, most of which is hidden beneath lush forests. Scattered throughout the high country of the Carolinas and Georgia, you will find a few places where exposed granite walls protrude towards the sky. Most people will only look up at these walls in awe, but only a few will lay their hands on the warm rock and start climbing.

Traditionally there have been, more or less, a couple ways to camp. If you wanted to really get into nature, you could traipse into the woods with your canned rations and two-man tent on your back, and hope to find a fairly flat surface and non-poisonous leaves.
If you wanted more creature comforts, you could drive your RV or pop-up camper to a campground site with varying amounts of privacy, indoor plumbing and/or nature nearby.
But what if you want the best of both? What if you want a spectacular view and a mattress? Well then, try “glamping.”

LOCO MOTION PROMOTING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF LOWCOUNTRY

pinkpowerLaura Morgan is the founder of Carolina Cup – a 501c3 non-profit public charity solely dedicated to funding breast cancer education, treatment, and clinical research – and the driving force behind Hilton Head’s fundraising event LoCo Motion. Since 2009, Carolina Cups and LoCo Motion have been passionately dedicated to spreading knowledge and creating hope in the fight against breast cancer. The first two years of LoCo Motion have shown outstanding economic feedback, making the 2013 event look extremely promising.

LOCAL TEAMS READY TO SHINE BRIGHT UNDER FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS

HILTON HEAD HIGH

High School Football PreviewIf B.J. Payne knows anything from his previous life as a professional wrestler, it's how to put on a show. And Payne certainly injected energy and excitement into the Hilton Head Island High School football program in his first season at the helm, but the Seahawks managed only a 5-6 record and bowed out in the first round of the Class 3-A playoffs. Year 2 tends to be the time when a new coach really begins to make his mark, and Payne thinks his team is poised to make a big jump despite losing a number of key players to graduation.

"We're really excited," Payne said. "We have our key group of guys, the upperclassmen who we're counting on to be our leaders, but we're really excited about the younger classes, too. … They're doing everything right. They're putting themselves in position to have success on the field and off."

 

Devin-Taylor-mugDevin Taylor is a physical marvel.

The Beaufort native stands 6-foot-7. He weighs 266 pounds. His total wingspan is 87 inches and his vertical jump is 35 inches. He can run 40 yards in 4.72 seconds.

Sportswriters have a term for this type of rare athlete – they call them freaks. In fact, CBS Sports ranked Taylor No. 2 on its “Freak List: The 10 craziest athletes in college football” last year.
When the Detroit Lions saw Taylor was still available, they selected him with the 132nd pick of the 2013 NFL Draft.

horseback ridingIf you who grew up watching John Wayne or Clint Eastwood movies, some of your fondest memories are probably the final scene as the hero rides off into the sunset atop his horse. For those interested in trying horseback riding, don’t expect the same kind of grandeur, but instead, plenty of hard work, exercise and direction. The rewards, though, are even more satisfying than clearing a town full of bandits.

Many natives and visitors to Hilton Head Island, with its beautiful beaches and sea life, wouldn’t think of the Lowcountry as popular area for horseback riding. But numerous stables are available for both one-time visits and continuous lessons.

Lawton Stables, located within Sea Pines Plantation, offers hour-long Western style riding to the individual without previous riding experience. With some basic instructions, riders than take a tour through the trails in Sea Pines, cruising on a leisurely stroll atop their horses and taking in the scenery.

Banish workout boredomTired of the treadmill? Bored with your fitness routine? If you’re looking for a different way to get in shape, check out these “out of the box” workout offerings:

Not-Your-Average Boot Camp

If the words “boot camp” make you cringe, then personal trainer Jakkie Pidanick’s personalized workouts will be a pleasant surprise. She works with small groups and bases her programs on ability, rather than a set idea of what a boot camp “should” be. Pidanick incorporates sandbags, free weights, and even PVC pipes filled with water, and she doesn’t force her boot campers to follow an outline that doesn’t fit them. “People tend to give up on boot camps and other training programs because they struggle to keep up and get frustrated,” said Pidanick. “I make anything and everything work, so no one has to feel excluded.” For information, visit www.JakkiePidanick.com or call 338-5305.

Local kiteboarder Joe Vicars sets out to catch  some windLocal kiteboarder Joe Vicars sets out to catch some wind

On Oct. 3, 2008, Frenchman Sebastian Cattelan became the first sailor to break the 50 knot barrier by reaching 50.26 knots or almost 60 mph of wind-powered speed across the water. This record was previously held by sailboats, but Cattelan set the new record on a board with just a kite.

Speed is just one of the thrills that attract people to kiteboarding, an extreme water sport that is a hybrid of kiting, surfing and wakeboarding. There is no other sport in which you can achieve such speed or heights.